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FEC approves purchase of $50.6m shares in W’Bank’s IBRD

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FEC approves purchase of $50.6m shares in W’Bank’s IBRD

            …okays N1.7bn for Bonny Jetty

  • FG confirms N650bn releases for capital projects

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved for Nigeria to subscribe additional 3,230 shares, worth $50.637 million, in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank.

The IBRD, at the last meeting of the World Bank Group in 2016, granted approval for Nigeria to secure the additional subscription.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, while briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that Nigeria, prior to now, had a share capital of 16,187 shares at the IBRD.

She was joined at the briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki.

The Finance Minister explained that the increase in the share capital will assist in strengthening the country’s position and enhance the nation’s voice in the global financial architecture.

She said: “Prior to now, Nigeria holds 16,187 shares at the IBRB. During the last meeting of the World Bank Group, a capital increase was adopted in October 2016 and an additional allocation of 3,230 shares were allocated to Nigeria, both for general capital increase as well as selected capital increase. The total value of these shares is in the sum of $50,637,747.60.

“This additional subscription to the Bretton Woods Institution by Nigeria is not just desirable, but necessary. It will strengthen the country’s position and enhance our voice in the global financial architecture.

“It is important that we also reported to council that Nigeria is now classified by the World Bank as a middle-class income country by reason of its GDP of over $387 billion and a per capital income today or as at the end of 2018 of $1,960 per head.

“This makes Nigeria qualify for a Bretton status in the World Bank Group that gives a country the leverage and enables us to access some less restricted resources of the bank both at the IBRD as well as the either windows.”

According to the Finance Minister, the subscription of shares will enhance the future of the status of Nigeria as a middle-income country as well as project the image of the country as strong emerging market.

“We are required to, at the end of March 2019, have accepted this offer. We have done the acceptance,” Zainab noted.

The Finance Minister also disclosed that the Federal Government has so far released a total of N650 billion for capital projects in the 2019 budget.

She said that additional N250 billion would be released by December 2019 to bring the total releases for capital projects to N900 billion.

The minister explained that the figure had already surpassed the N600 billion President Muhammadu Buhari directed to be released as of October.

While responding to the excuse given by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, that poor funding was the reason road projects were not executed at a faster pace, Ahmed explained that much as the government was faced with revenue challenges, works, housing, power and transportation had so far received the highest releases.

She said: “Works is always on the priority list; housing is always funded, same is transportation and power, though we have revenue challenges.

“It gives me an opportunity to state that the Minister of Works and Housing has a proposed budget of N247 billion for the year 2020 and the greatest component of this budget is the fixing of Nigerian roads. It is true that we are not able to fund the budget 100% but whenever we release funds for capital projects, the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Works and Housing are always the priority and also the Ministry of Transport.”

FEC also approved a draft of Executive Bill to be sent to the National Assembly for legal framework for the National Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, Anambra State.

Council also approved a total of N1.7 billion for the award of contract of a jetty in Borno, Rivers State.

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Millions of Nigerians not bothered about Sowore’s rearrest —Presidency

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Millions of Nigerians not bothered about Sowore’s rearrest —Presidency

The Presidency has said that millions of Nigerians are not bothered about the rearrest of SaharaReporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
Adesina was asked to react to the outrage that greeted the violent rearrest of Sowore.
He said the Presidency stands by the claim of the Department of State Services (DSS) that the video circulating did not reflect what actually transpired in court.
The President’s spokesman added: “I don’t particularly agree with you when you say a lot of Nigerians (are not happy), you know that all this noise has been coming from less than 100,000 Nigerians. And the noise will be so loud that you think it is the whole country.
“It is a country of 198 million people. When just 100,000 are making noise in the social and traditional media, you would think the whole country is in an uproar. There are millions and millions of people who are not bothered.
“There are millions of people who know what the issues are. So, you cannot just seek the opinion of a local minority and then conclude that the country is in an uproar.”

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We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC

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We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that corruption is the fastest route to the destruction of the nation’s institutions.
Citing examples of the effects of corruption on institutions, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in his message Monday at the 2019 United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, noted that “when a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption for instance, its security forces would not be trusted, its borders would become porous, criminality will fester and its insecurity may be internationalized.”
He, however, warned that the days of impunity were over in Nigeria and that all corrupt persons must be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
His words: “As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office. The days of impunity are over. The warning must be given, loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly, and with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.”

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Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq

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Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has disclosed that the immediate past administration incurred a debt of about N100 billion as against the N30 billion it handed over to his administration.
AbdulRazaq, who disclosed this on Monday in Ilorin, the state capital, during a rally commemorating the United Nation’s Anti Corruption Day,  commended the EFCC for preventing the removal of about N4 billion from the treasury of the state by the immediate past administration at its twilight.
The governor noted that corruption is a cankerworm that affects all and sundry and the fight against it should be embraced by every member of the society, if there would be meaningful progress and development in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “The anti corruption laws should not be seen as punitive but an effort to guide the people to do the right thing.
“Corruption is a cankerworm that is detrimental and it drastically retards socioeconomic growth and development of the people, the state and the nation.”
He, however, promised that his administration would effectively collaborate with the anti graft agency so as to make the state better.

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Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs

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Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs

Kano Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Chairman of the state’s Emirate Council of Chiefs.

Ganduje said he did this going by the powers conferred on him in Sections 4 (2) (g) and Section 5((1) (2) of the Kano State Emirate Councils Law 2019.

Also Four First Class Emirs of Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Alhaji Dr Tafida Abubakar (Autan Bawo), Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II and Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, are appointed as automatic members of the Council, as enshrined in the state’s Emirate Council Law.

According to a press release signed by Mr Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor and made available to newsmen on Monday, the governor stated that Section 4(2) names other members as Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Local Governments, five Chairmen of local government councils one each from the local government council where the Emir’s palace is situated.

Section 5(1), (2) of the law provides that, the Chairmanship of the state Council of Chiefs shall be rotational among the five Emirs of the Emirates and the sequence of which is to be determined by the governor and the chairman shall serve for a period of two years only.

The appointment is with effect from Monday, December 9.

Governor Ganduje urged all the Council members to utilize the opportunity to serve the people in the state and to strengthen the Emirates and the traditional system of administration in the state in advising the state government, more particularly on security matters

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Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum

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Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has threatened to mobilise Nigerians for a mass action against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government after the expiration of a14-day ultimatum it issued for the release of Omoyele Sowore and others illegally detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).

While the Coalition noted that last week’s invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by DSS operatives and re-arrest of Sowore was the highest level of abuse of executive powers, it also stated that the country would slide fully into anarchy if nothing was done to curb the excesses of the government.

Yemi Adamolerun of EiE Nigeria, in the address she read on behalf of the Coalition at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, said that the ultimatum was necessary to put an urgent check on the government before democracy in Nigeria would be completely truncated by power drunk politicians.

Details later…

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One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

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One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

One person was killed after a volcano erupted on White Island off the coast of New Zealand and an undetermined number of people were injured or missing, authorities said Monday.

John Tims, deputy commissioner of the national police, said at a news conference that there are “likely to be more” deaths. Search and rescue operations have been stalled because “at this stage, it is too dangerous for police and rescue services to go to the island.”

Boats, ships and emergency aircraft in the area had removed 23 people from the island, many of them with burn injuries, he said. About 50 people were believed to have been in the area at the time of the eruption, he said.

Jonathon Fishman, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises, told NBC News that multiple guests aboard the ship Ovation of the Seas were touring the island, which in quieter times is a tourist attraction popular with birdwatchers. He had no further immediate information, adding: “Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”

GeoNet, the government earthquake agency, said the country’s most active cone volcano, Whakaari White Island, in the Bay of Plenty about 30 miles off the northeast New Zealand coast, erupted at about 2:11 p.m. Monday.

“We are aware that people were on the island immediately before the eruption and we express our concern for their safety,” GeoNet said in a statement. It said that the eruption was a “short-lived” event generating an ash plume 12,000 feet into the sky but that ash fall appeared to be confined to the island.

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Finnish minister Sanna Marin, 34, to become world’s youngest PM

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Finnish minister Sanna Marin, 34, to become world’s youngest PM

Sanna Marin, aged 34, will become the world’s youngest prime minister as head of a women-led coalition government in Finland.

The transportation minister was picked by her Social Democratic party to take charge after PM Antti Rinne quit. She is expected to be sworn in this week.

She will lead a centre-left coalition of five parties all headed by women, reports the BBC.

Rinne stepped down after losing the confidence of a coalition member over his handling of a postal strike.

When she takes office, Ms Marin will be the world’s youngest sitting prime minister. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is 39, while Ukrainian premier Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35.

“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust,” Ms Marin, who won the vote by a narrow margin, told reporters.

She brushed away questions about her age, saying: “I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”

Ms Marin will be the third-ever female prime minister in the Nordic country. The Social Democrats emerged as the largest party in elections held in April, and so can appoint the prime minister who leads the coalition government.

According to Finnish broadcaster YLE, Sanne Marin was raised by a single mother and was the first person in her family to go to university.

Finland currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

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Buhari likens Sowore to Boko Haram terrorists

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Buhari likens Sowore to Boko Haram terrorists

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resident Muhammadu Buhari has likened the activities of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, to Boko Haram terrorists operating in North-East part of the country.

 

The President stated this in reaction to criticisms that have trailed the re-arrest of the convener of Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, at the Federal High Court, Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

 

While the fighting between government forces and Boko Haram insurgents since 2009 in the North-East has led to death of several people and displacement of millions, Sowore recently called for a revolution against the government of President Buhari.

 

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday, explained that the criticism which followed the re-arrest of Sowore and Bakare inside the court premises is unnecessary.

 

DSS operatives were reported to have chased away a presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and assaulted journalists in their bid to arrest the duo of Sowore and Bakare in Abuja on Friday.

 

 

Reacting to the condemnation of the Buhari government over the re-arrest which happened inside the court premises, Shehu said Sowore remains a person of interest to the DSS.

 

“Again, it is no surprise that he (Sowore) should be a person of interest to the DSS. Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the North-Eastern region of our country.

 

 

“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.

 

“Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in faraway New York – and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu. This is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers,” the presidential aide stressed.

 

The Presidential spokesman said no government around the world will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.

 

Shehu said: “No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.

 

 

“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

 

“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.

 

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow.”

 

According to the presidential spokesman, the DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution.

 

The Presidency explained that: “The DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution – which was the foundation for the restoration of democracy in our country in 1999.

 

 

“Mr. Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet. He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 presidential election.

 

 

“Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making, and was achieved after decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation Sowore was advocating.

 

 

“To believe in and desire armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of State has expressed concerns over the re-arrest of Sowore.

 

 

In a tweet on Saturday, the United States reminded the Nigerian Government that respect for rule of law, freedom and judicial independence are key elements of democracy.

 

 

“We are deeply concerned that Sowore has been re-detained in Nigeria, shortly after a court ordered he be released on bail. Respect for rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy,” the US Department of State said.

 

 

 

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Sowore: HURIWA tackles Presidency, DSS

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Sowore: HURIWA tackles Presidency, DSS

H

uman Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, flayed the Presidency and the Department of State Services (DSS) over the re-arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, inside the courtroom.

The advocacy group described the incident as “outrageous and primitive” and called for the dismissal of the Director-General of DSS, Alhaji Yusuf Bichi.

 

 

In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the group also frowned at the attempt made by the DSS spokesperson to exculpate his agency “from the abominable defecation of the Temple of Justice.”

 

 

It said: “This invasion of the Federal High Court, just like the invasion of the National Assembly by 100 hooded armed security forces of the DSS and the invasion of the residences of Justices of the nation’s Supreme Court and Federal High Court, are symptomatic of the increasing desire of the administration to institute arbitrariness and anarchy and then to elevate impunity and official lawlessness to a state policy which will culminate in the ultimate collapse of constitutional democracy and the emergence of full dictatorship.”

 

 

HURIWA’s statement came against the backdrop of claim by the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, that Sowore acted a well-rehearsed script to give the world the impression that its agents arrested him inside a courtroom.

According to the rights group, there is no justifiable reason for an institution created by statute to actively invade the sacred sanctum of the Federal High Court and employ brute force to arbitrarily re-arrest two Nigerian citizens who were already on bail granted to them by a competent court of law.

 

 

It insisted that the half-baked efforts by reactionary forces aligned to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to explain away the weighty issues connected with the invasion of the courtroom of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu “makes the government appear to be totally cut off from reality.”

 

 

HURIWA added: “This attempt to paint black what is white and to deny an event recorded on video and circulated all over the world will present the government as a bunch of people who are in the business of canonizing falsehoods and adopting naked lies as the hallmarks of the current administration.

 

“This is a serious disservice to the Nigerian State and these crude tendencies will harm the international image of the country for a long time to come.”

 

The group declared that the action of the DSS operatives cannot possibly find any rational, empirical and constitutional support since it “amounted to a gross disrespect for the sanctity of the judiciary.”

 

 

“It is comical and irrational that the spokesman for the President of a constitutional democracy in the 21st Century can be seen arguing that a citizen who has already been granted bail by the court of competent jurisdiction can be rearrested over very nebulous and incoherent reasons that find no justification in law and for which same reasons framed as criminal charges are already before the court of law and during which pendency the presiding judge, Her Lordship Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, had graciously exercised her constitution power of discretion and granted bail to the accused, thereby rendering his second arrest as an exercise in erection of double jeopardy,” it said.

 

The group, however, urged President Buhari to desist from abusing his powers and office, saying “political power is transient.”

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Why Senate is in a hurry to perform, by Lawan

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Why Senate is in a hurry to perform, by Lawan

The President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, explained that the Ninth Senate was in a hurry to deliver on some of the targets set in its legislative agenda, in order to beat the 2023 political season, which might slow down governance. Lawan gave this explanation at the end-of-the-year get-together/award ceremony, organised by the Senate management for the staff of the Senate. He said: “We came with our own ideas, our own agenda as Distinguished Senators of the Ninth Senate. “We passed our agenda.

 

What we intend to do as Senators to enhance good governance in Nigeria is to make Nigeria better for the citizens. And, of course, the way we want to go is different from the way of the past because perhaps the goals and targets are different. “And we are also in a hurry.

 

We know the need for us to act fast. Time is of essence. In the next two years or so, the Nigerian political landscape will be dotted by people campaigning for presidency, for governorship and the rest of it. And that will in a way cause some disruption or slowdown in governance. “So between now and the next two years we have told ourselves that we have to work hard to ensure that, as a legislature, we are able to perform our roles creditably to enable government function very well for Nigerians.

 

And that is what we have been trying to do. The President of the Senate said that by the time the lawmakers returned from their break in January, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which appeared to have defied passage and the constitutional amendment which is a continuous exercise, would be addressed. “The mode of operation of this current Senate is: we don’t give space. We don’t create any space in the middle. We just want it done and done away with it,” he said.

 

Lawan thanked the staff for their dedication, hard work and noted that they are so significant to the achievement so far recorded by the Senate. “We are supposed to celebrate you. That is why I’m here because we have put all of you to test when we came in. The first test we had for ourselves as Senators and you as supporting staff was the screening of the Presidential ministerial nominees. “We were supposed to go on break, but we held back for one week and it was a very exhaustive week. We sat up to about 8p.m. from morning.

 

We succeeded because you were there for us. “And the subsequent activities including, of course, the budget that we have just passed. The National Assembly turned into a beehive of activities right from the day we said the budget defence will start and the budget defence will end. Most of you were always in the National Assembly. You worked so hard. You made us to succeed,” he said.

 

Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori also commended the staff and assured them that the management would continue to strive hard to meet their needs within the available resources.

 

“We have never, as a management, failed to acknowledge the fact that we are within a very serious constraint. But what we have said is that, whatever is due to you, you will get it, within the context of the available resources,” Omolori said.

 

Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, assured the staff that the get-together had become an annual event. The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the 2019 Senate President Award to Usman Labaran Gumama for his dedication to duty, vigilance, valour and enforcement of security at the National Assembly complex.

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